History Files
 

 

Middle East Kingdoms

Anatolia

 

 

 

Ottoman Empire
AD 1290 - 1924

Control of the Islamic empire was lost by the Arabic Abbasid Caliphate when the Il-Khan Mongols killed the last caliph in 1258. Initially, while the Mongols ruled Mesopotamia and eastern Anatolia, the Ottomans focused on conquering and securing western Anatolia and Greece. Governance of the Mongol eastern section was inherited by the Mongol Il-Khanate. From 1453 the Ottomans made their capital at former Byzantine Constantinople. A puppet Abbasid caliphate was set up by the Mamelukes in Egypt, so when they were conquered by the Ottomans in 1517, Constantinople inherited the caliphate.

1290 - 1326

Osman I

First sultan (ruler) of the empire.

1308 - 1326

Seljuq Rum is overthrown. Bursa [Prusa] is taken from Byzantium in 1326.

1315

During the Ottoman siege of Rhodes, Count Amadeus of Savoy adds his forces to those of the defending Knights Hospitaller. This is just the first (and least) of several attacks upon the island and its new masters, all of which are successfully repelled.

1326 - 1359

Orxan / Orhan

1331 - 1354

Iznik (Nicaea) is taken in 1331. Izmid (Nicomedia) is taken in 1337. Gelibolu (Kallipolis) is taken in 1354 . Ankara (Angora) is taken in 1354.

1359 - 1389

Murad I

1361 - 1387

Edirne (Adrianople) is taken in 1361. Konya (Iconium) is taken in 1387. Thessalonica is taken in 1387.

1389 - 1402

Bayezid I Yildirim / Bayaat

Imprisoned by Timur.

1402

Timur defeats, captures and imprisons Bayezid at the Battle of Ankara, making Anatolia another province of Timurid Persia.

1402 - 1421

Mehmed I

1405

Timur's death in Persia acts as a prompt for the Ottomans to re-invade Greater Armenia and annexe it to their own empire.

1421 - 1451

Murad II

1451 - 1481

Mehmed II Fatih 'the Conqueror'

1453

The Byzantine capital at Constantinople is finally captured by Mehmed, bringing to an end the last vestiges of the Roman empire and making Greece an Ottoman province. The loss is viewed as a disaster for the Christian world.

1462

The Ottomans conquer Argos.

1470

The important island of Negroponte (Euboea in Greece) is captured.

1475

The Crimean khanate becomes a vassal.

1479

After the capture of Scutari, and a battle in Friuli, peace is agreed with Venice.

1481 - 1512

Bayezid II

1491

The Crimean khanate apparently seizes all of the Great Horde's horses, and encourages Moscow to deliver the death blow as a result. Both Moscow and the Ottomans dispatch forces which include Russian cavalry, Tartars, and Janissaries. This causes part of the horde to secede in November 1491, while the remainder is routed by its enemies.

1499 - 1503

A new war breaks out against Venice. The Ottomans gain Modone and Lepanto.

1512 - 1520

Selim I Yavuz

1515 - 1517

Mameluke Egypt, Libya, and Syria (an Egyptian Mameluke possession) are conquered. The puppet Abbasid caliphate is transported to Istanbul by Selim and he is later credited with assuming the caliphate himself.

1520 - 1566

Suleyman I the Magnificent

1526

Hungary is conquered following defeat at the Battle of Mohács, and the principality of Transylvania taken.

Ottoman coin
The Ottoman conquest of Egypt saw an influx of Ottoman coins, with this example being issued during the reign of Suleyman I the Magnificent (1520-1566)

1537 - 1540

Another war is fought against Venice, with more territory in Morea (the Greek Peloponnesus) being gained.

1538

Moldavia is conquered by the Ottomans.

1553 - 1555

The Italian War results in an invasion of Corsica in 1553 which disrupts Genoese rule of the island. French and Ottoman forces team up in the Mediterranean to disrupt coastal areas that are loyal to or controlled by the Holy Roman Emperor. The French are the driving force behind these operations in their attempt to gain control of Italy. They raid the coasts of Corsica, Elba, Naples, and Sicily. Then a force of French and Ottomans, together with Corsican exiles, capture the strategically important island, robbing the empire of a vital line of communications. Their fleets leave as winter approaches, with a fairly small garrison of 5,000 second line troops remaining behind. Genoa immediately organises a counter-invasion with 15,000 men, and much of Corsica is retaken in 1554, with the rest being gained in 1555.

1550

A combination of Spanish encroachment along the coast and the intervention of the Ottoman empire, with the latter ostensibly taking up the Muslim cause against Christian aggression, causes Algiers to be subsumed within the Ottoman empire, being governed as an autonomous province from the Barbary Corsair capital there.

1565

The beylerbey of Damascus, Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha, commands the Ottoman land forces during the (Great) Siege of Malta. The island's defenders are the Knights Hospitaller, together with up to 5,000 Maltese troops. The siege is one of the bloodiest on record, and the island loses about a third of its manpower, in knights and civilians. But the Ottomans are defeated with very heavy losses of their own, and they never again threaten Malta. The defeat also denies them control of the western Mediterranean and the chance to strike deeper at southern European states.

1566 - 1574

Selim II

1570 - 1573

Venice, the Pope and Spain all ally to defeat the Turks at the naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571 after Selim begins besieging Cyprus. The island is still captured by the Turks in 1573.

1573 - 1574

Selim II conquers Tunis and topples the ruling Hafsids. A few last Hafsids claim power but hold virtually none before the Ottomans take complete control of Tunisia.

1574 - 1595

Murad III

1595 - 1603

Mehmed III

1603 - 1617

Ahmed I

1611

The principality of Wallachia is conquered by the Ottomans.

1617 - 1618

Mustafa I

1618 - 1622

Osman II

Assassinated by Janissaries.

1621

The Polish Commonwealth defeats a major attempt by the Ottoman empire to enter and conquer its territory when former elder of Samogitia, Jonas Karolis Kotkevicius, holds the fortress of Chocim in the path of the advancing 200,000-strong Turkish army. The first snows of winter force the Ottomans to withdraw in defeat.

1622 - 1623

Ahmed I

Restored.

1623 - 1640

Murad IV

1631

The Ottoman empire is still the most powerful state in the region both in wealth and military capability. The personal style of government, however, cultivated among the earlier sultans has vanished. In place of sultanic government, the bureaucracy pretty much runs the show, and cracks begin to appear in the empire's unity during this century.

1640 - 1648

Ibrahim

1644 - 1669

The Ottomans besiege Candia (Heraklion). Venice loses Crete, the last island in its old sea empire.

1648 - 1649

The former chamberlain and then chief of the treasury, Sofu Mehmed Pasha is dismissed during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim. He briefly manages to become governor of Damascus before being forced by the janissary leaders to become grand vizier during a period of disturbance. Ibrahim is dethroned five days later and killed ten days after that, and Sofu is suspected of being present at his execution. Less than a year after gaining the post, he is replaced and exiled. Kara Murad Pasha, commander of the janissary, has him executed in August 1649.

Ottoman janissaries
The janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's bodyguard and household troops, but they also sometimes played a role in deciding who sat on the throne

1648 - 1687

Mehmed IV

Aged 7 at accession.

1663 - 1664

The Fourth Austro-Turkish War ends in the Battle of Saint Gotthard on 1 August 1664 in which the Ottomans are defeated by Austrian troops under Raimondo Montecuccoli (with a company of 140 men being led by Count Herman Adolph of Lippe-Detmold). The Turks are forced to agree to the Peace of Vasvár with Austria.

1672 - 1699

The Polish region of Podolia is occupied, and Ottoman governors are appointed to control it, although the life expectancy of each holder of the post is relatively short.

1683

John III of Poland and Charles V of Lorraine lift the siege of Austrian Vienna on 12 September, ending Ottoman expansion in Europe.

1684 - 1694

Venice re-conquers the Morea (the Greek Peloponnesus).

1687 - 1691

Suleyman II

1691 - 1695

Ahmed II

1697

The Shihabi amirs of Lebanon become semi-independent.

1695 - 1703

Mustafa II

1703 - 1730

Ahmed III

1718

Morea is finally and definitively conquered from Venice.

1727

An attempted invasion of Afghanistan which is held by the weakening Hotaki dynasty of Afghans is repulsed.

1730 - 1754

Mahmud I

1744

The emerging power of Muhammad ibn Saud joins up with a religious leader named Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab in Nejd in central Arabia. Together they forge a small Saudi state based around Riyadh. It pushes outwards from there.

1754 - 1757

Osman III

1757 - 1774

Mustafa III

1768

The Mameluke Beys seize power in Egypt and thereafter their successors remain de facto rulers of the country.

1774 - 1789

Abdul-Hamid I

1789 - 1807

Selim III

1806

The Ottomans lose both Moldavia and Wallachia to Russia.

1807 - 1808

Mustafa IV

1808 - 1839

Mahmud II

1821 - 1829

The Greek War of Independence begins against rule by the Ottoman empire. War is declared in 1821 and revolts quickly spring up in Central Greece, Crete, and Macedonia. A makeshift Greek navy prevents Ottoman reinforcements from being landed in the country. Muhammed Ali brings Egyptian forces into the conflict in 1825 and much of the revolt is put down. However, the Egyptian fleet is sunk at the Battle of Navarino in 1827 by a fleet consisting of Russians, French and British.

1827

The Treaty of London is signed, in which Britain, France and Russia support Greek independence, and following the freeing of Central Greece in 1828, the beginnings of an independent state are created.

1828 - 1832

The Russo-Turkish War, triggered by the fighting in Greece and the Danubian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, ends in the Peace of Adrianople. The London Conference in 1830 recognises Greek independence. In 1832 a monarchy is installed under Otto of the Bavarian Wittelsbachs.

1830 - 1837

France invades Algiers and conquers it in progressive stages. The dey of Algiers surrenders and is exiled after just three weeks of fighting and, following early French military command, governors administer the country for the French state. The bey of Constantine (capital of north-western Algeria) becomes France's greatest opposition in the region, with a well-organised resistance to invasion that survives until 1837.

1839 - 1861

Abdul-Mejid I

1842

Direct rule of Lebanon is reacquired.

1854 - 1856

Britain and France join the Ottoman empire in the Crimean War against Russia, to halt Russian expansion. The war ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, a severe setback to Russian ambitions.

1861 - 1876

Abdul-Aziz

1876

Murad V

1876 - 1909

Abdul-Hamid II the Damned

1883

France invades Tunisia from Algeria, removing Ottoman control of the country.

1905

Eleutherios Venizelos, the Greek 'lion of Crete', wins the independence of his island from Turkey.

1909 - 1918

Mehmed V

1911

Ottoman Libya is invaded by Italy, which establishes a protectorate in 1912.

1913

The empire loses Bahrain and Cyprus to British control.

1914

Turkey moves to join its allies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, by declaring war against Britain, France, and Russia on 31 October. Its first moves in support of that declaration are slow to occur, but Turkish troops eventually open their main front in the Caucuses against Russia.

1916 - 1918

The British-backed Arab Revolt is proclaimed with an attack on Medina (where the Prophet Mohammed died in AD 632). The revolt liberates much of the Middle East from Ottoman control, with Britain and the Hashemite Arabs taking control of Iraq and Kuwait, Palestine, and the Transjordan, and France controlling Lebanon and Syria. On 30 October 1918, Turkey signs an armistice at Mudros, on the Aegean island of Lemnos.

1918 - 1922

Mehmed VI

Deposed and exiled as head of the House of Osman.

1920 - 1922

On 10 August 1920 Britain, France and other powers officially dismember the Ottoman empire with the signing of the Treaty of Sevres and occupy Constantinople and Izmir. Greece attempts to seize a large section of western Anatolia but Turkish troops capture Smyrna on 10 September 1922, massacring the Greek population and ending the Greek-Turkish War. After having colonised western Turkey some three thousand years before, at the end of the Mycenaean period, all Greeks are now expelled from Turkey, many of them having been Turkish in all but name for generations and not being able to speak Greek at all.

1922 - 1924

Abdul-Mecid II

Caliph only. Expelled from Turkey. Not recognised until 1926.

1923

The Ottoman empire collapses and on 29 October 1923 a republic of Turkey is declared. On 1 November the newly founded parliament formally dissolves the sultanate. On 1 March 1924, the caliphate is formally abolished by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Two days later the title is claimed by the Hashemite king of Hijaz, Husayn, who is the last to do so.

Modern Turkey
AD 1924 - Present Day

Modern Turkey began on 29 October 1923 when the republic was declared out of the ruins of the Ottoman empire and the failure of the country's First World War effort. However, the first steps towards republic had been taken after the armistice was signed in 1918. A former lieutenant colonel in the army, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), convened the Erzurum Congress between 23 July to 7 August 1919 and the subsequent Sivas Congress on 4-11 September 1919, which laid out the path to freeing the country from Allied control. War followed, with Turkey finally re-establishing itself as a fully independent state on 24 July 1923 after the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne. The declaration of a republic soon followed, with Atatürk being unanimously elected the first president.

The Ottoman rulers of the House of Osman were expelled from Turkey in 1924 and refused re-admittance. Their property was confiscated. It wasn't until after the 1950s that they were granted re-entry, and in the 1990s, the right of citizenship followed. Successive heirs and claimants to the Ottoman throne are shown with a shaded background.

(Details on republican Turkey and the Ottoman heirs by Hayreddin Barbarossa and Dalim Bulut.)

1922 - 1926

Mehmed VI

Moved to San Remo where he died 16 May.

1926 - 1944

Abdul-Mecid II / Abdul Mejid

Former Caliph. Recognised on Mehmed's death. Died 23 Aug.

1930

Constantinople is renamed Istanbul as part of Kemal Atatürk's campaign to create a secular Turkey.

1944 - 1954

Ahmed IV Nihad

Grandson of Murad V. Died 4 Jun.

1945

After previously agreeing with Nazi Germany to remain neutral, Turkey enters the Second World War on the Allied side against Germany on 23 February, but takes little active participation in the war's closing days.

1952

Turkey becomes a member of NATO during its transition from political association to integrated military structure, a necessity made apparent by the perceived increase in threat level from Communist states during the Korean War.

1954 - 1973

Osman IV Fuad

Brother of Ahmed IV. Died in Nice on 22 May.

1960 1961

There is a military coup in Turkey. The prime minister and two ministers are hung, the constitution is replaced, and parliament is suspended. The leaders of the revolt then appoint a popular figure in Turkey, General Cemal Gürsel, to take command. Despite multiple coup attempts against him, as well as an assassination attempt, Gürsel restores civilian control in October 1961.

1960 - 1961

Cemal Gürsel

Military head of state.

1971

There is another military coup in Turkey which leads to the fall of the government and the establishment of several interim governments.

1973 - 1977

[Mehmed] Abdulaziz II / Abdul-Aziz II

Brother of Osman IV. Born 1901. Died 19 Jan.

1974

The Greek military government attempts to invade Cyprus and put it under direct Greek control. In response, Turkish airborne troops seize the north-eastern third of the country.

1977 - 1983

Ali Vâsib

Son of Ahmed IV. Born 14 Oct 1903. Died 9 Dec.

1980

With right-wingers fighting communists on the streets, Turkey undergoes a third military coup and the National Security Council dissolves parliament. The coup's leader, General Kenan Evren, assumes the post of president and stabilises the country before returning it to civilian hands, although he remains in his post as president.

1980 - 1989

Kenan Evren

Military head of state.

1983 - 1994

Mehmed VII Orhan

Uncle to Ali. Born 27 Mar 1914. Died 12 Mar.

1994 - Present

[Ertugrul] Osman V

Brother. Born 18 Aug 1912.

1997

On 28 February there is a 'post-modern' military coup in Turkey, labelled as such because the military does not follow the usual unconstitutional actions of dissolving parliament or withdrawing the constitution. The government resigns as the result of pressure to do so.

1999

On 7 September a massive earthquake, registering 6.0, strikes in Greece from a previously unknown geological fault at a point approximately seventeen kilometres north of Athens. It causes widespread structural damage and kills 143 people. Taking place less than a month after a similar earthquake in Turkey, the Turks supply aid and rescue teams, which contributes significantly to a thaw in relations between the two countries.

Osman Bayezid Osmanoğlu

Nominated successor. Born 1924.